Sunday, May 25, 2008

All Art is Illusion - the Telectroscope

I was listening to BBC Worldservice on the way to work the other day, and they did a story on this wonderful new art installation currently on display on the South Bank of the Thames in London, and in Brooklyn, NY. It's called a "Telectroscope" - follow or copy/paste into your browser the link below to see for yourself:

The concept is that there's a tunnel running from London to New York, and if you look down the tunnel, the people on the other side (3,000 miles away) can see you and you can see them. Apparently the drill bits bored up from the rivers just a few days ago, revealing this Jules Vernian portal with gears and steam and bells and whistles. (Ok, so it's really a type of webcam and a lot of very clever props and decor, but I could care less about the mechanics. "Why....because all art is illusion" quote from Michael de Meng - see previous posts on class with Michael)

This just totally caught my imagination - my Grandmother lived in Enfield (north London) and when I was a child (1970s) , I dreamed of her being talk to her on a picture phone and being able to see her and the house where she lived. My Nan has passed on 21 years ago, but I still miss her very much, wouldn't it have been wonderful if she could have gone to this and waved at me? I know, we have webcams and texting and all sorts of marvels now, but doesn't this just seem more romantic?


E-J said...

It's a magical idea ... Thanks for sharing those links! I am excited by the ways in which modern technology allows us to communicate, but for somebody to have the creative genius to present that technology in an unnecessarily beautiful way ... kudos to him!

...Cindy... said...

That is so delightfully steampunk! And you know I love that. The technology imagined in the Jules Vernian era was so much more romantic, wasn't it? I'm glad that there are people who still appreciate it.